Large plate of ham in front of me. Digging in with gusto when HerrTech suddenly says, "Is that an earthquake?" We all stop a moment to see if we can feel the same thing his clearly superior, animal-senses have felt. Sure enough the shaking intensifies. We're all quiet and looking around at each other, swishing around like a piece of debris washing down the drain. It keeps going, strong but unusually quiet. "Should we go outside?" Somebody asks. So we do, we all scramble out through the door and get out from under anything. For a while I wonder if it's still going or if I'm just still dizzy. Finally it stops. Almost an hour later we all feel a decent sized aftershock, me leaning up against a wall that seems to push me away from it once or twice before stopping. Then again at four in the morning when I'm getting ready for work, but this one is more normal, the house popping with the effort and I hear the earthquake more than feel it.
HerrTech did his civic duty and reported that we indeed felt it. You can see in the graph above one of my favorite USGS visualization graphs. A user-feedback based graph that attempts to determine how far away an earthquake was felt. While this was a 7.2 magnitude, extremely powerful, it was deeper than the earthquake in Haiti and so therefore it appears so far that less damage was done. I've only heard of two casualties so far, and hopefully that will be it. But you can see how far it was felt; Disneyland shut down their rides as a result (Disneyland on Easter Sunday?) The only drawback is how many times I'm going to have to answer the same question the USGS poses, Did you feel it? I think one would had to have been jogging or playing some extreme sport not to have felt this one, but the inevitable question will be asked and asked again today and personal stories of where were you when the earth wobbled a little will be told by coworkers who enjoy exaggerating their own peril.